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4 Handheld Vacuums Road Tested

Is it just us or do your floors seem to get incredibly dusty in what feels like a few hours? Or maybe it’s the crumbs for the kids’ snacks, or the pet hair? For all of these reasons, our vacuums are our favourite household appliance. And what we love even more? A handheld powerhouse for quick clean-ups.

We tested four high-octane vacuums and report on how easy it is to work them as handheld machines.



Attachments: Brushcum-regular-nozzle-and-crevice-tool

Washable part: Dust canister


This sports the most unique–and practical–design. It comes with a flexible 1.5-metre hose, like that of a regular vacuum cleaner. Let it sit on the table, floor or car seat while you work the hose. To clean blinds or the top shelves of a bookcase, you can carry the lightweight machine in one hand and the hose in the other.

Cordless and sleek, it was the most adept at cleaning the car and sofa, as the hose reaches tight corners more easily than the other vacuums. And the length of the hose was helpful as it meant the machine body, which emits warm air that tends to scatter spilt flour or powder, didn’t get anywhere near the mess.

VERDICT Compact, ergonomic and cleverly designed, this is ideal for car owners.



Attachments: None, the regular nozzle (with a retractable brush) is affixed to the machine

Washable parts: Dust canister and regular nozzle


This is the only machine that gets to high spaces. It gets a tad tiring if you’ve to hold it for long periods, like when you’re cleaning the top shelves of a bookcase, but is otherwise easy to handle.

Its nozzle isn’t as slim as the crevice tools of the other vacuums, which may make it tricky accessing the nooks and crannies in the car. There’s the option of using it as an upright vacuum by attaching extension tubes and a floor nozzle ($32.90, includes extension tubes and floor nozzle), although it feels top-heavy given the weight of the body. The floor nozzle doesn’t swivel but is slim enough to get into corners and was effective at picking up crumbs and flour.

VERDICT Space-saving and fuss-free to use as there’s no fiddling around with attachments.


DYSON DC61 MOTORHEAD $399, from Robinsons, Takashimaya D.S., Tangs, and major electrical stores

Attachments: Roller head, brush-cum-regular-nozzle-and-crevice-tool

Washable parts: Roller brush and filter


This solid machine boasts powerful suction, but that’s also where it trips up; the suction was so strong that it was hard to glide the roller head across surfaces smoothly. It also heated up faster than the other machines and the warmth radiated to the handle, which might bother users. At 15cm long, its roller head is shorter than the Dyson V6 but longer than the Black+Decker machines. Great for vacuuming all manner of spills, it also navigated most spaces well.

VERDICT A robust and competent heavyweight with excessive suction power.


DYSON V6 $699, from Robinsons, Takashimaya D.S., Tangs and major electrical stores

Attachments: Floor roller head, brush-cum-regular-nozzle-and-crevice-tool

Washable parts: Roller brush and filter


This is an excellent vacuum that does double duty: As an upright vacuum, it is good for weekly clean-ups around the house.

As a handheld vacuum, it is handy for picking up crumbs or cleaning small areas. As an upright vacuum, it glided over ceramic, terrazzo and parquet floors smoothly and effortlessly. It was also easy to swivel and manoeuvre. For use as a handheld vacuum, just detach the long tube. For table tops and tighter spaces, it’s best to switch to the regular nozzle or crevice tool. The combination of large and small nozzles gives you the best of both worlds.

VERDICT A worthwhile investment, covering all your vacuuming needs.


By Lim Tsiao Hui, Simply Her, June 2015

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